Pet adoption is a serious commitment. Just because you’ve decided to have a pet doesn’t mean you’re ready to bring one into your house. Adopting a pet begins with a well-thought-out decision on what kind of pet you desire. Read this guide to learn what it takes to be a responsible pet owner before bringing a pet into your home.
Considerations When Adopting a Pet
Compared to caring for an adult dog or cat, caring for a puppy or kitten presents different challenges. A common concern for people who have never raised a young animal is how to ensure its health. Here are five crucial areas that require your special attention.
1. Food and Nutrition
Kittens and puppies have different calorie and nutrient requirements than adults. After weaning, these animals require high-calorie, protein-rich food to sustain their seemingly endless appetites and activity levels.
You can start by giving your pet up to four meals daily. Gradually reducing to twice daily as they reach adulthood is appropriate for most adult dogs and cats. If you have questions about which foods are suitable, your vet can help.
You probably already know that adult dogs and cats need regular vaccinations to protect them from harmful bacteria and viruses. Dogs and cats should be vaccinated against the most prevalent and dangerous diseases. Additional vaccines may be necessary for some animals due to exposure to lifestyle-related risks.
In the first year after their initial vaccines, puppies and kittens receive their first booster shots. From there, they continue with the adult animal vaccination schedule. You can visit your vet or check their vaccinations page to learn more regarding the schedule and specific booster shot requirements for your pet.
3. Dental Health
Remember to brush your pet’s teeth to keep their mouth healthy. Slowly get them used to the toothbrush and give them lots of praise. You can make this a fun routine for your pet by rewarding him after each brushing.
Treat your pet’s dental health more like a necessity than a luxury. Your pet’s regular veterinary appointments should always include a dental checkup. Having a professional from Cedar Mill Veterinary Hospital examine your pet’s teeth can give you vital information about the state of their teeth and advice on how to best care for them.
4. Parasite Control
Puppies and kittens can contract internal parasites from their mothers, who then transmit the worms to their babies through breast milk. Worms don’t always get into the digestive system. However, intestinal worms like hookworms, whipworms, and roundworms have the potential to be fatal.
The heartworm, one of the most harmful parasites, enters the bloodstream through mosquito bites and multiplies inside the heart and lungs. Even though they develop gradually, they provide significant treatment challenges and could eventually result in death. To keep your new puppy or kitten safe from parasites, it’s important to start deworming sessions at the age of two weeks. A vet checkup and monthly preventative treatments can help keep the risk under control as your pet ages.
Puppies and kittens need socialization early on so they can learn to live in harmony with humans and other animals. Minimal socialization can lead to abnormal responses in a puppy or kitten, such as shyness, aggression, or fear.
Plan to begin socializing your puppy or kitten at three weeks and keep doing so until they are 20 weeks old. This can be simplified and facilitated by enrolling in socialization courses or hiring a personal trainer. Incorporating daily walks into your socializing routine might be beneficial.